- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons Essence, plus more for dusting, recipe follows
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 large soft-shell crabs, cleaned, rinsed, and patted dry
- 4 (7-inch) lengths French bread, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
- 1/2 cup Creole Tartar Sauce, recipe follows
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 12 thin slices ripe tomato
- 12 dill pickle slices
In a large pot, heat 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of the Essence, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. In another bowl, combine the cornmeal, 1 teaspoon of the Essence, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs, water, and remaining teaspoon of Essence. One at a time, lightly coat the crabs with the flour mixture, then dip into the egg wash, followed by the cornmeal to coat.
With tongs, lower 2 crabs at a time into the hot oil. Fry, turning once, until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with Essence.
Spread both sides of the French bread with tartar sauce. Layer the lettuce, tomatoes and pickles over the bottom half of the bread and top with 1 crab. Close the sandwiches and serve immediately.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Creole Tartar Sauce:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon Creole or whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon salt
Put the egg, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and green onions in a food processor and puree for 15 seconds. With the processor running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. Add the cayenne, mustard, and salt and pulse once or twice to blend.
Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until well chilled before serving, 1 hour.
Yield: 1 1/3 cups
* Raw Egg Warning
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served, use shell eggs that have been treated to destroy salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method.